Do you suffer from migraines or tension headaches? Have you had a difficult time trying to figure out how to relieve your pain? We get it! According to the Migraine Institute, 35 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, and 43% of women and 18% of men will experience migraines during their lifetime. That’s a lot of people!

Fortunately, there are stretches you can do anywhere that will help you release tension in your upper body and neck. Today, MoveU goes over some gentle stretches you can do to find migraine relief.

What Is a Tension Headache?

Migraines and headaches are all types of tension headaches, which are not a good time. These types of headaches might make you feel one of more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain on both sides of your head and neck
  • Tightness or pressure
  • Mile or moderate pain

A tension headache could be a result of tight muscles around your neck that puts pressure on your nerves. Stress can also cause headaches as when you are stressed out you can tighten or strain your muscles.

Can Poor Posture Cause Migraines?

Poor posture can also contribute to tension headaches as it can alter body mechanics and lead to muscle imbalances. Incorrect posture can affect your muscles, nerves, connective tissue, joints, and spine. Muscle imbalances occur when you favor one side of your body over the other, which can weaken the less favored side of your body. This can cause headaches and even injuries or misalignments, like text neck.

Forward posture can also cause TMJ as forward head posture puts more tension on your head and jaw causing headaches and neck pain.

Poor posture can also lead to muscle spasms or tightness in the neck, knotted muscles, and headaches.

Did reading that make you sit up straighter? Good! Remember you can always head to the MoveU program online to help you fix all of this sh!t.

Can Stretching Help Migraines?

Stretching helps release physical tension and can calm your body and mind. Stretching has been shown to relieve certain migraine triggers such as stress, tension, and muscle tightness. In fact, a study from Neurology found that doing yoga alongside medical therapy to manage a migraine was more effective than medical therapy alone.

Here are some other ways stretching can help you find migraine relief:

  • Improves how your body responds to stress
  • Helps reset the autonomic nervous system
  • Loosens your muscles and releases tension

How to Treat Migraines Naturally

Whether you feel tension on both sides of your head, the back of your head, or the front of your head, there are ways to treat migraines naturally with stretches. Here is a quick stretch that can help you get some temporary relief from a tension headache:

Tension Headache Upper Neck Stretch

Step 1: Place your right hand on the back of your head.

Step 2: Place your left knuckles on your chin.

Step 3: Simultaneously push your head forward with your right hand (you can do this) and your chin backward with your left hand, thus creating a stretch in the back of your neck. Feels good, right?

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Step 1: Start by either sitting down or standing up. Bring your right ear down to your right shoulder without letting your shoulders go up.

Step 2: Place your right hand on top of your left ear and gently pull your head closer to your right shoulder (if possible). Go slow and pause once you feel a stretch down the left side of your neck and trapezius muscle. Ahhh!

Step 3: Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then do it on the left side. Repeat 2 to 3 times on each side.

Cat/Cow Stretch

Step 1: Get on your hands and knees (about hip-width apart). Ensure your hips are over your knees and your shoulders are over your wrists. Keep your head in a neutral position.

Step 2: Inhale arch your back, lift your tailbone up, and look up coming into cow pose. Throw in a “moo” for extra credit.

Step 3: Exhale press down into your palms, round your back, and look at your belly button coming into cat pose.

Step 4: Repeat these postures for 3 to 5 rounds. Sound effects are encouraged.

To learn proper body mechanics, check out the MoveU program online. Learn how to move better to feel better today.